Elon Musk showed up on his first day as Twitter’s new owner hold the sinkA more apt analogy would be the toilet, as after just three weeks the company had flushed out a sizeable portion of its user base and most of its staff, leaving the very pipes underpinning the company’s IT infrastructure on the brink of collapse. Maybe. His $44 billion investment in Musk is going down the drain.
After laying off about half of the company’s staff last week, Musk gave the remaining employees an ultimatum, expiring on Friday, working “long hours at high intensity” and saying that his career at the company was “very hard”. He asked them to agree to become “hardcore”.
The email asked to click ‘yes’ if the staff wanted to stay. Those who do not respond by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday will be considered retired and will receive a severance package, the email said.
Hundreds of Twitter staffers reportedly disagreed with these terms. Musk’s previous ultimatum required all staff to work full-time in his Twitter office again, and the company announced on Thursday that all offices will be closed throughout the weekend until Musk can personally sort things out. announced it will close.
Musk emailed the rest of Twitter’s staff on Friday, asking employees who write software code to show up on the 10th floor of Twitter’s San Francisco office that afternoon.
In a follow-up email, the billionaire said, “I would appreciate it if you could fly to San Francisco and attend in person.” He said he would be at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters until midnight and return Saturday morning.
Site infrastructure may collapse
Some experts say the massive employee turnover could collapse the company’s IT infrastructure, at least temporarily.
A Twitter source who requested anonymity said, “If it breaks, there is no one left to fix it in many areas.”
“We’re seeing outages across the board,” Wedbush Securities technical analyst Daniel Ives said Friday. “We have minimal staff left now, which I think is pretty scary, especially in terms of cybersecurity.”
“We’re starting to lose some key engineers, developers, key people in-house, and I think that’s where this thing can really cascade,” Ives said.
He said it could be “really free for everyone” in terms of how it works.
Some say the service is unlikely to go away, even if only temporarily.
In an interview with CBC News, cybersecurity analyst Ritesh Kotak said, “I don’t think this is the end. But the platform is in chaos and there are no ifs ands or buts.”
Technology columnist Takara Small says he’s noticed that the site appears to be lagging even further, with some of the usual features showing delays and glitches.
“People are saying…if people leave and apps are still running, does that mean there was a lot of bloat?” she told CBC News in an interview on Friday.
Small said Twitter “may run into technical issues or glitches and go down for a period of time before recovering,” but said he would be surprised if the service went down completely.
“It’s hard to say behind the scenes what was affected,” she said. You start noticing the little things…if you don’t have the talent to hold it all together, it breaks.”
There have been some suggestions that former Twitter employees might try to launch a similar service to compete with their former employers.
“The beauty of the Internet is that you can create these tools and launch these tools. We definitely have the expertise to do that. But it’s easier said than done.”